By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA-WORRIED that the nation’s universities have not explored the logistics and supply chain management, the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, CVCNU, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with Kuhne Foundation to integrate logistics and supply chain into Nigerian university’s curriculum.
The partnership aims to help train the manpower at the postgraduate level to be able to teach at the level of undergraduate.
It specifically seeks to strengthen the local capacities in logistics and supply chain management along the different higher education levels, by developing competitive education programmes to meet international standards.
Speaking during the MoU signing ceremony in Abuja,the Secretary -General of CVCNU, Prof. Yakubu Ochefu said seven universities had been selected to pilot the programme.
He said:” The MOU represents formalisation of a relationship between the selected Nigeria universities and Kuhne Foundation.
“Kuhne is part of the Kuhne group which is the largest logistics and supply chain company of the world, a global leader of logistics and supply chain company development to the world.
” This partnership that we have signed today represent their efforts at coming into the Nigeria space like they said, they have been operating basically in the East Africa and now this is their first time in west Africa and the number justify that investment.
” Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa when you translate that into logistics and supply chain, you will understand why the biggest player in the world want to play in Nigeria.”
Ochefu said that the foundation had already engaged with the National Universities Commission ( NUC ) in the last one year to develop a curriculum for logistics and supply chain management in Nigerian universities.
” What we have had in the past is transportation and as we all know transportation is the component of logistics and supply chain management so when they work with NUC to develop the curriculum at the undergraduate level so that it is possible for you to teach in logistics and supply chain at the undergraduate level.
” What we are doing here is to help train the manpower at the postgraduate level to be able to teach at the level of undergraduate because we really don’t have qualified manpower for logistics and supply chain management to teach in the Nigeria university system.
” So part of the training programme has to build that first for this seven universities and we will take it up from there,” he said.
Also, the Country Director, Kuhne Foundation, Mr Stephen Akuti, said that Nigeria must not be left behind considering the value of logistics and supply chain management to any economy.
Akuti said that the foundation had research into why Nigerian universities do not offer why logistics and supply chain management as a course.
He said that the foundation was ready to scale up it’s support for Nigerian universities in the training of manpower at the undergraduate level.
” There is a lot of value in logistics and supply chain education in the entire world generally and for the Nigeria education system.
” Basically, it is the way the world works, logistics and supply management in education works and we have been working in Nigeria here for five years now..
” One of the things we’ve been doing underground is to research why is it that this programme is not available in Nigeria educational system particularly at the undergraduate level.
” And we’ve seen those reasons and so we are working with NUC and other stakeholders and today now we are signing the MoU with CVCNU to move that level forward to bring those value to Nigeria.
” Basically, all our problems in Nigeria educational system and all the entire economy is logistics and when we begin to research and teach the new principle we see all of them begin to function appropriately, so basically the value are unquantifiable,” he said.
The Vice-Chancellor, First Technical University, Ibadan, Prof. Adesola Ajayi, commended the gesture of the foundation, saying that the universities would domesticate the teaching of logistics and supply chain management as well as replicate it in other sectors like agriculture.
Prof. Samuel Odewunmi, who represented the Vice Chancellor, Lagos State University, Prof. Ibiyem Olatunji-Bello, called for the inclusion of logistics and supply chain management into the schools curriculum.
Also, Dr Charles Zaure, representing the Vice-Chancellor, Gombe State University, Prof Ibrahim Umar, said though the programme may come with its challenges but the challenges would be profitable while pledging the participation of the programme in its university.